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Sony to stop selling PS4 download codes through retailers, including GameStop

The new policy goes into effect April 1

DualShock 4 controller on blue background James Bareham/Polygon
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Sony has confirmed to our sister publication, The Verge, that it will no longer allow retail partners to sell digital download codes for PlayStation 4 games. The new policy goes into effect April 1.

Rumors began swirling earlier this week following a leak by Twitter’s Wario64. The popular account, known for uncovering gaming deals far and wide, posted a memo detailing the changes that was circulated internally at GameStop.

While GameStop’s public relations team has not yet responded to our requests to validate the text of the memo, it seems that Sony’s policy is nonetheless very real.

“We can confirm that as of April 1, 2019, Sony Interactive Entertainment will no longer offer full games through SIE’s Global Digital at Retail program,” a PlayStation spokesperson told The Verge. “This decision was made in order to continue to align key businesses globally.”

The new policy puts some consumers in the lurch, specifically those unwilling or unable to use a credit or debit card to purchase directly from Sony’s online storefront. To accommodate, Sony said that it will offer additional denomination values for customers purchasing PlayStation Store cash cards.

“To support full games and premium editions, SIE will introduce increased denominations at select retailers,” the PlayStation spokesperson said. “DLC, add-ons, virtual currency, and season passes will still be available.”

As The Verge points out, Sony’s statement still leaves a few unanswered questions. Chief among them is whether Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, will be affected by this policy change. GameStop’s memo says the change will affect all retailers.

Polygon has reached out to Sony for additional comment and clarification.